The Next Generation of Consultants

As Dr. Lamoureux points out in Sourcing the New Organization, today’s “networked person” driven economy is a lot more mobile than the “organization centered” economy of old. And every time a skill set gets hot and becomes in demand, we see an outflux of professionals from organization man’s rigid world into agile startups and the world of the independent consultant.

With Increased Competition for Procurement Professionals on an almost weekly basis, it was bound to happen in sourcing and procurement sooner or later, and reading the recent article Interims Cash in on Demand Boost on, it looks like that time is here.

According to the article, because competition is fierce for the talent pool, who expect to be rewarded, many procurement professionals are choosing to opt out of permanent work and become consultants or interim managers. Furthermore, the CIPS/Croner Reward Purchasing and Supply R£wards 2006 report revealed purchasing directors’ basic pay has overtaken their finance colleagues. (Summarized here.)

As a result with purchaser’s salaries increasing, the use of interim procurement professionals is on the rise, especially in companies cautious about overheads and eager to start key projects. According to Julie Harris, Head of Interim Executive Resourcing at (purchasing consultancy) Purcon, the trend for interims will increase, not decrease, as firms are seeing huge benefits. This is a boom period for interims, with the permanent market quieting down. The article also notes that there will always be a major role for both in house staff and interim support. Of course, in today’s hot market, retaining and obtaining the most from your current staff is key. What can you? Dr. Lamoureux has a few suggestions in his inspirationally-titled post Si, Se Puede!, but I think the most important element is to show your people that you value them through financial incentives, opportunities for advancement, and a strong focus on work-life balance.

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